LOS ANGELES – A wintry blast closed schools and glazed roads with ice and snow Tuesday in the Rockies and on the Plains, part of a parade of wild weather that had closed a major highway in California and caused new flooding in Arizona.
Various levels of winter weather advisories and storm warnings were in effect from Tuesday into Wednesday morning from Arizona to Connecticut, the National Weather Service (search) said.
"It's nothing that is going to make history, but it's a pretty good-sized storm," said Pat Slattery, a spokesman for the National Weather Service office in Kansas City.
Snow and freezing rain swept through Colorado, causing scores of accidents during the morning rush hour and closing schools. One crash near Ordway in southeastern Colorado was blamed for a fatality.
The storm was expected to bring up to a foot of snow to the Denver area and up to 2 feet to parts of the southern mountains, where avalanche warnings were posted.
An avalanche blocked U.S. 550 about 40 miles north of Durango in the state's southwest corner.
Some schools closed early in Nebraska as blowing snow cut visibility, and by noon the wind chill had fallen to 14 below zero at Chadron. Up to 18 inches of snow was possible, meteorologists said.
Dozens of schools in western South Dakota called off classes early, and Sioux Falls had about 4 inches of snow by Tuesday evening. Police in Rapid City, where about 7 inches had fallen, reported more than 60 accidents on icy roads but no serious injuries.
Storms swept through Kansas and western Missouri Tuesday night, dumping close to an inch of ice in some areas and leaving thousands without power. Authorities reported dozens of mostly minor accidents.
Many flights at Kansas City International Airport (search) were canceled Tuesday night, and some carriers also canceled flights for Wednesday morning.
Freezing rain also iced power lines and bridges in northwestern Oklahoma, causing some electrical outages.
The California Highway Patrol on Tuesday finally reopened a 40-mile stretch of Interstate 5 — the state's main north-south route — that had been shut down since early Monday. As much as 2 feet of snow had fallen on top of a layer of ice at Tejon Pass, elevation about 4,200 feet.
Up to 3 feet of snow fell elsewhere in the mountains of Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
Rain moving eastward out of California caused flooding early Tuesday in Arizona, and one man died in Tonto Creek near the small community of Punkin Center (search), 40 miles northeast of Phoenix. A second man was missing but a woman with them was rescued.
About 20 other people were evacuated early Tuesday because of flash flooding in the Punkin Center area, said Fritz Day, dispatch supervisor for the Gila County Sheriff's Office.
Some roads were closed because the flooding, and diminished visibility caused flight delays at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (search).
By midday Tuesday, the storm brought 30 inches of snow to Flagstaff.
In southern Arizona, the damp weather caused a rock slide on the Catalina Highway on Mount Lemmon, and the Gila River spilled over its banks in Clifton near the Arizona-New Mexico line.
California authorities reported one weather-related traffic death Monday. Last week, five deaths were blamed on the weather in California, along with two others in Arizona and two in Colorado.
The storms that started striking California just over a week ago have piled snow 9 feet deep at higher elevations in the Sierra Nevada, soaked Los Angeles with record rainfall, caused mudslides and knocked out power to thousands of customers.
Yet another storm system is expected to move across California later this week.